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5.2 Bell Wireline

5.2 Bell Wireline

Our Bell Wireline segment achieved positive adjusted EBITDA growth for a second consecutive year in 2016, supported by continued Internet and IPTV subscriber growth, higher household ARPU and lower operating costs, which drove a 0.9 percentage-point improvement in our North American industry-leading margin of 41.7%.


Key elements of relevant strategic imperatives

  • Maintained our position as Canada’s largest TV provider with 2,744,909 subscribers, and increased our total number of IPTV subscribers by 13.1% to 1,337,944
  • Built on our position as the leading ISP in Canada with a high-speed Internet subscriber base of 3,476,562, up 1.9% over 2015
  • Increased the number of multi-product households – those that buy TV, Internet and Home Phone – by 4% over 2015, fuelled by our IPTV service, which drove higher pull-through attach rates for Home Phone and Internet services, with 74% of all new IPTV customers taking three products
  • Maintained our leadership position in Canadian broadband communications with the most advanced products in the home and continuous IPTV and Internet service innovation
    • Launched Home Hub 3000 residential gateway, offering the most powerful home Wi-Fi service with 12 antennas, total throughput capability of up to 1 Gb, automatic channel switching for reduced interference, tri-band technology supporting multiple connected devices and battery back-up that enables customers to use Fibe Internet during a power outage for up to four hours
    • Launched Wireless 4K Whole Home PVR, enabling the world’s first fully wireless IPTV service with the flexibility to easily locate Fibe TV anywhere in the home, and featuring 4K quality with four times the detail of Full HD, up to 150 hours of 4K recording capacity and Bluetooth remote that enables out-of-sight positioning of the PVR
    • Became the first TV provider in Canada to integrate access to Netflix in 4K Whole Home PVR
    • Became the first Canadian TV service provider to offer TV service on Apple TV, providing access to up to 450 channels live or on demand and unique Fibe TV features like top trending shows, with recordings and pause and rewind live TV coming later in 2017
  • Bell Fibe TV was ranked as the most advanced TV service in Canada
  • Bell’s FTTH Fibe Internet service led Canadian Internet providers, exceeding advertised download speeds by a greater margin than the competition
  • Launched Virgin Home Internet service in Ontario and Québec
  • Acquired Q9, a Toronto-based data centre operator providing outsourced hosting and other data solutions to Canadian business and government customers, supporting our ability to compete against domestic and international providers in the growing outsourced data services sector
  • Launched Bell Total Connect for small business customers across Ontario and Québec, delivering a suite of advanced messaging and unified communications services on both broadband fibre and mobile LTE networks
  • Formed a partnership with IBM to expand the cloud computing services available through our Bell Business Cloud service, giving businesses across Canada access to the IBM Cloud via a secure, high-speed private connection from Bell, simplifying the way customers adopt and build out their hybrid clouds
2017 FOCUS
  • Continue to enhance our IPTV service with more advanced features
    • Make Bell Fibe TV available as a standalone TV service
  • Expand our total base and market share of TV and Internet subscribers profitably
  • Reduce total wireline residential net losses
  • Increase residential household ARPU through greater multi-product household penetration
  • Increase share of wallet of large enterprise customers through greater focus on business service solutions and connectivity growth
  • Increase the number of net new customer relationships in both large and mid-sized businesses and reduce small business customer losses

  • Continued to expand our FTTP broadband fibre footprint in communities across Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada, reaching approximately 2.9 million homes and businesses. FTTP enables Internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
2017 FOCUS
  • Expand FTTP broadband fibre footprint to approximately 3.5 million locations passed

  • The CCTS received 18% fewer complaints about Bell and Virgin Mobile between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 than during the equivalent period of the previous year, continuing the steady decline in Bell and Virgin Mobile complaints since July 2013
  • Launched Manage Your Appointment feature, offering residential customers an easy way to confirm and check the status of their service appointments online
  • Reduced customer calls to our service centres by 4 million in 2016 due to more self-serve online transactions by customers and overall operational improvements. Online self-serve visits, infoviews and transactions totalled more than 190 million, an increase of 30 million over 2015.
  • Reduced Fibe TV installation time for FTTP customers by 9% in 2016 and 43% since the beginning of 2012
  • Achieved Same Day Next Day service completion rate of 88% for repairing service issues with Home Phone, TV and Internet
  • Improved customer satisfaction with technicians to 95% for installations and repairs
  • Offered installation appointments within two days of placing an order to 76% of residential customers, an increase of almost two times since 2014
  • Offered Same Day repair to 73% of small business customers, who are now able to schedule appointments until 4:00 p.m. for Same Day repair
  • Improved skill set of customer service agents to allow them to resolve more technical issues, eliminating 30% of transfers to second-level support
2017 FOCUS
  • Continue to invest in customer service initiatives to simplify complexity for all customers, including billing
  • Further reduce the total volume of customer calls to our call centres
  • Further improve customer satisfaction scores
  • Achieve better consistency in customer experience
  • Continue to improve customer personalization
  • Reduce FTTP installation times and improve service quality
  • Deploy new diagnostic technology enabling enhanced troubleshooting and service monitoring for our customers

  • Reduced wireline operating costs by 2.7%, contributing to Bell Wireline adjusted EBITDA margin improvement of 0.9 pts over 2015
  • Executed on labour savings from workforce reductions undertaken in 2015 at Bell Wireline
  • Delivered cost savings from ongoing service improvements and savings related to the deployment of FTTP
2017 FOCUS
  • Capture operating cost and capital expenditure synergies from the integration of MTS following the completion of the acquisition by BCE
  • Deliver cost savings from workforce reductions, ongoing service improvements, and savings related to the deployment of FTTP to support a stable consolidated adjusted EBITDA margin



Financial performance analysis





2016   2015   $ CHANGE  




6,791   6,590   201   3.1 %

Local and access

3,089   3,271   (182 ) (5.6 %)

Long distance

741   831   (90 ) (10.8 %)

Other services

182   186   (4 ) (2.2 %)

Total external service revenues

10,803   10,878   (75 ) (0.7 %)

Inter-segment service revenues

177   204   (27 ) (13.2 %)

Total operating service revenues

10,980   11,082   (102 ) (0.9 %)


559   573   (14 ) (2.4 %)

Equipment and other

555   592   (37 ) (6.3 %)

Total external product revenues

1,114   1,165   (51 ) (4.4 %)

Inter-segment product revenues

10   11   (1 ) (9.1 %)

Total operating product revenues

1,124   1,176   (52 ) (4.4 %)

Total Bell Wireline revenues

12,104   12,258   (154 ) (1.3 %)

Bell Wireline operating revenues decreased by 1.3% in 2016, compared to last year, due to declines in local and access, long distance and product revenues. Bell Wireline year-over-year revenues were also unfavourably impacted by the sale of a call centre subsidiary in September 2015. The decrease in operating revenues was partly mitigated by the growth in data service revenue.

Bell Wireline delivered growth from residential services revenue in 2016, despite the unfavourable impact of the sale of a call centre subsidiary, mainly attributable to higher Internet and IPTV subscriber bases along with growth in household ARPU, partially offset by higher customer acquisition and retention discounts resulting from aggressive cable competition, the impact of service optimization by customersand ongoing NAS and satellite TV subscriber base erosion. Slow economic growth and competitive pricing pressures continued to unfavourably impact our business markets revenues although the rate of erosion improved compared to last year. Bell Wireline operating revenues were further negatively impacted by a decrease in our wholesale market, driven by an unfavourable CRTC rate revision for aggregated wholesale high-speed Internet access services.

  • Data service revenues increased by 3.1% in 2016, compared to 2015, driven by higher Internet and IPTV revenues, due to growth in the subscriber bases and rate increases, as well as higher business solutions services revenue mainly reflecting the acquisition of Q9 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This was partly offset by lower satellite TV revenues primarily driven by a lower subscriber base, the continued erosion in legacy data revenues, as well as significantly lower revised interim rates set by the CRTC, effective October 2016, for aggregated wholesale high-speed Internet access services.
  • Local and access revenues decreased by 5.6% in 2016, compared to last year, as a result of the continued loss of NAS lines due to aggressive offers from cable TV providers, technological substitution to wireless and Internet-based services and large business customer conversions to IP-based data services, moderated in part by rate increases on our residential services
  • Long distance revenues declined by 10.8% in 2016, compared to 2015, reflecting fewer minutes of use by residential and business customers, resulting from NAS line losses, technology substitution to wireless and OTT Internet-based services, continued rate pressures in our residential market from customer adoption of premium rate plans, and lower sales of international long distance minutes in our wholesale market
  • Product revenues declined by 4.4% in 2016, compared to 2015, driven by ongoing slow economic growth in our business market resulting in lower demand for equipment


2016   2015   $ CHANGE  



Operating costs

(7,062 ) (7,258 ) 196   2.7 %

Adjusted EBITDA

5,042   5,000   42   0.8 %

Adjusted EBITDA margin

41.7 % 40.8 %     0.9 %

Bell Wireline operating costs decreased by 2.7% in 2016, compared to last year, as a result of:

  • Labour cost savings attributable to workforce reductions, a decline in call volumes to customer service centres and vendor contract savings
  • Decreased post-employment benefit expense resulting from a higher discount rate year over year and a gain recorded on an alignment of certain Bell Aliant DB pension plans with those of Bell Canada in the first quarter of 2016
  • Lower cost of goods sold associated with lower product sales
  • Reduced payments to other carriers driven by reduced volumes

The decline in operating expenses was partly offset by increased programming costs for TV services resulting from a higher number of total TV subscribers and programming rate increases, as well as higher costs associated with the acquisition of Q9 in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Bell Wireline adjusted EBITDA increased by 0.8% in 2016, compared to 2015, with a corresponding adjusted EBITDA margin expansion to 41.7% from 40.8% in 2015. The year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA was driven by higher revenues from our Internet and TV businesses, ongoing effective cost management and lower post-employment benefit expense which more than offset the continued loss of higher-margin voice and legacy data service revenues and the continued, but moderating, pressure in our business markets revenues.


High-speed Internet


2016   2015   CHANGE  



High-speed Internet net activations

85,099   155,052   (69,953 ) (45.1 %)

High-speed Internet subscribers(1)

3,476,562   3,413,147   63,415   1.9 %


High-speed Internet subscriber net activations decreased by 45.1% in 2016, compared to 2015, as a result of lower retail and wholesale residential net activations, driven by increasingly aggressive offers from cable competitors, a greater number of retail customers coming off promotional offers which increased deactivations and lower pull-through due to the reduction in IPTV activations. This was partly mitigated by increased activations from the launch of Home Internet service in the second half of 2016 by Virgin Mobile, higher retail activations in our FTTH footprint, as well as modest growth in our business market.

High-speed Internet subscribers at December 31, 2016 totalled 3,476,562, up 1.9% from the end of 2015.



2016   2015   CHANGE  



Net subscriber activations

6,413   107,380   (100,967 ) (94.0 %)


155,153   253,329   (98,176 ) (38.8 %)

Total subscribers

2,744,909   2,738,496   6,413   0.2 %


1,337,944   1,182,791   155,153   13.1 %

IPTV net subscriber activations decreased by 38.8% in 2016, compared to last year, driven by a higher number of retail customers coming off promotional offers, aggressive offers from the cable competitors for service bundles, the impact of maturing Fibe TV markets, slower IPTV footprint expansion in 2016, and fewer customer migrations from satellite TV.

Satellite TV net customer losses increased by 1.9% in 2016, compared to 2015, attributable to lower activations, driven by increased promotional offers from cable competitors, which was moderated by fewer customer deactivations and lower retail migrations to IPTV.

Total TV net subscriber activations (IPTV and satellite TV combined) declined by 100,967 in 2016, compared to last year, due to lower IPTV net activations and higher satellite TV net losses, as described above.

IPTV subscribers at December 31, 2016 totalled 1,337,944, up 13.1% from 1,182,791 subscribers reported at the end of 2015.

Satellite TV subscribers at December 31, 2016 totalled 1,406,965, down 9.6% from 1,555,705 subscribers at the end of last year.

Total TV subscribers (IPTV and satellite TV combined) at December 31, 2016 were 2,744,909, representing a 0.2% increase since the end of 2015.

Local and access


2016   2015   CHANGE  






3,249,739   3,533,732   (283,993 ) (8.0 %)


3,007,993   3,154,934   (146,941 ) (4.7 %)


6,257,732   6,688,666   (430,934 ) (6.4 %)




(283,993 ) (278,124 ) (5,869 ) (2.1 %)


(131,415 ) (160,310 ) 28,895   18.0 %


(415,408 ) (438,434 ) 23,026   5.3 %


NAS net losses decreased by 5.3% in 2016, compared to last year, resulting from lower business net losses, partially offset by higher residential net losses.

Residential NAS net losses grew by 2.1% in 2016, compared to 2015, as a result of aggressive competitive offers from cable TV providers, reduced pull-through due to fewer year-over-year IPTV activations and ongoing wireless and Internet-based technology substitution, partially offset by greater customer retention through the acquisition of three-product households.

Business NAS net losses improved by 18.0% in 2016, compared to last year, driven by fewer competitive losses in our large business market and lower customer deactivations in our small business market. This was offset in part by greater customer migrations to IP-based services, and reduced demand for new access lines in our large business market resulting from slow economic growth.

The annualized rate of NAS erosion in our customer base increased modestly from 6.2% in 2015 to 6.4% in 2016. At December 31, 2016, we had 6,257,732 NAS lines, compared to 6,688,666 NAS lines at the end of last year.


Competitive landscape and industry trends


The financial performance of the overall Canadian wireline telecommunications market continues to be impacted by the ongoing declines in legacy voice service revenues resulting from technological substitution to wireless and OTT services, as well as by ongoing conversion to IP-based data services and networks by large business customers. Sustained aggressive competition from cable companies also continues to erode traditional telephone providers’ market share of residential local telephony. Canada’s four largest cable companies had over 4 million telephony subscribers at the end of 2016, representing a national residential market share of 43%. Other non-facilities-based competitors also offer local and long distance VoIP services and resell high-speed Internet services.

Competition for residential local and long distance services comes primarily from substitution to wireless services, including our own Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile offerings. Approximately 33% of households in Ontario and Québec are estimated to be wireless only.

In 2016, cable companies continued to increase the speeds of their Internet offerings, while promoting aggressive customer acquisition offers. At the end of 2016, the four largest cable companies had approximately 6.5 million Internet subscribers, representing 54% of the total Internet market based on publicly reported data(1), while incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) held the remaining 46% or 5.6 million subscribers. Although the residential Internet market is maturing, with over 88% penetration across Canada, subscriber growth is expected to continue over the next several years. In addition, Bell continues to make market share gains due to the expansion of our fibre-optic network, as well as the pull-through of subscribers from our IP-based Fibe TV service.

ILECs offering IPTV service grew their subscriber base by 10% in 2016 to reach 2.5 million customers, driven by enhanced service offerings, expanded network coverage and marketing and promotions focused on IPTV. This growth came at the expense of cable TV and DTH satellite TV subscriber losses. At the end of the year, Canada’s four largest cable companies had approximately 6 million TV subscribers, or a 55% market share, down two percentage points from 2015.




  • Cable TV providers offering cable TV, Internet and cable telephony services, including:
    • Rogers in Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador
    • Vidéotron in Québec
    • Cogeco Cable Inc. (a subsidiary of Cogeco Inc.) (Cogeco) in Ontario and Québec
    • Shaw in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario
    • Shaw Direct, providing DTH satellite TV service nationwide
    • Eastlink in every province except Saskatchewan, where it does not provide cable TV and Internet service
  • ILECs TELUS and MTS(1) provide local, long distance and IPTV services in various regions
  • TELUS and Allstream Inc. provide wholesale products and services across Canada
  • Various others (such as TekSavvy Solutions, Distributel, VMedia, and Vonage Canada (a division of Vonage Holdings Corp.) (Vonage)) offer resale or VoIP-based local, long distance and Internet services
  • OTT voice and video services such as Skype, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
  • Digital media streaming devices such as Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast
  • Other Canadian ILECs and cable TV operators
  • Substitution to wireless services, including those offered by Bell
  • Business service solutions:
    • Systems integrators such as CGI Group Inc., EDS (a division of HP Enterprise Services) and IBM
    • Outsourcers and professional service firms
  • Wholesale competitors include cable operators, domestic CLECs, U.S. or other international carriers for certain services, and electrical utility-based telecommunications providers

Canadian market share




The Canadian ILECs have made substantial investments in deploying broadband fibre within their territories. These investments have enabled the delivery of IPTV and high-speed Internet service in order to better compete with cable TV offerings in urban areas. IPTV is considered a superior video product to traditional cable TV, given innovative features that Bell has introduced, such as: a completely wireless installation in the home; wireless PVRs and receivers; Restart, which enables customers to rewind and watch TV shows already in progress from the beginning; Trending, which highlights in real time the five most-watched shows in the country and lets the user switch to watch them live or Restart from the beginning; as well as the integration of OTT services such as CraveTV and Netflix as apps directly on the PVR. FTTN enables speeds of up to 50 Mbps, while FTTP delivers broadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps (higher than any other technology) or faster in 2017 as equipment evolves to support these speeds. Going forward, ILECs are expected to maintain high levels of capital spending, primarily for the ongoing expansion of their broadband fibre networks, with an increasing emphasis on upgrading current FTTN networks to FTTP.


The growing popularity of watching TV anywhere is expected to continue as customers adopt services that enable them to view content on multiple screens, including computers, smartphones and tablets, as well as on their TVs. OTT content providers are competing for share of viewership and spending although, to date, these OTT services have not generally replaced existing TV services. However, to mitigate the threat of video substitution, TV and ISPs have launched customer-authenticated on-demand streaming services that provide programming content over mobile and Wi-Fi networks to smartphones, tablets and computers. Additionally, sports and live event programming are important differentiators for traditional TV providers as they face increasing competition from OTT content providers. As OTT offers become more compelling and consumers demand greater flexibility in choosing the content most relevant to them, the disconnection of and reduction in spending for traditional TV continues to rise. While this trend is increasing, it is anticipated that growth in Internet subscriptions and Internet-only households, as well as the introduction of direct-to-consumer on-demand streaming services by the incumbent wireline telecommunications and cable companies, will help to offset the decline in TV as OTT video increases the value of broadband Internet.


Wireless substitution is the most significant driver of residential NAS losses and wireline voice revenue declines for telecommunications companies. Wireless-only households were estimated to represent approximately 33% of households in Ontario and Québec at the end of 2016, compared to approximately 29% at the end of 2015. To mitigate the impact of wireless substitution, wireline service providers have been packaging voice services with Internet and TV and offering discounted triple-play bundles. Wireless substitution is expected to continue to steadily increase in 2017.




The convergence of IT and telecommunications, facilitated by the ubiquity of IP, continues to shape competitive investments for business customers. Telecommunications companies are providing professional and managed services, as well as other IT services and support, while IT service providers are bundling network connectivity with their software as service offerings. In addition, manufacturers continue to bring all-IP and converged (IP plus legacy) equipment to market, enabling ongoing migration to IP-based solutions. The development of IP-based platforms, which provide combined IP voice, data and video solutions, creates potential cost efficiencies that compensate, in part, for reduced margins resulting from the continuing shift from legacy to IP-based services. The evolution of IT has created significant opportunities for our business markets services, such as cloud services and data hosting, that can have a greater business impact than traditional telecommunications services.


Business outlook and assumptions


We expect a third consecutive year of positive wireline adjusted EBITDA growth in 2017, despite the negative financial impact of regulatory rulings from 2016 regarding Internet tariffs for aggregated wholesale high-speed access services and customer refunds for cancelled services. This is being enabled by a stronger projected revenue performance trajectory that reflects continued broadband Internet and IPTV subscriber growth as we continue to expand our FTTH service footprint, annual residential price increases, improvement in our overall business markets performance supported by the acquisition of Q9, cost reductions to counter competitive re-pricing pressures, the ongoing decline in voice revenues and reduced telecom spending by large enterprise customers in a slow economy, as well as the incremental financial contribution from the completion of the acquisition of MTS by BCE.

TV subscriber growth within our wireline footprint is expected to be driven by continued strong customer adoption of Fibe TV as we increase penetration of existing IPTV-enabled neighbourhoods and drive ongoing innovation in IPTV services. We also intend to seek greater penetration within the multiple-dwelling units (MDU) market, capitalize on our extensive retail distribution network, and leverage our market leadership position in HD and 4K programming and on-demand streaming services to drive incremental subscriber growth and higher revenue per household. However, we expect satellite TV net customer losses to continue in 2017, due to cable competitors’ targeted acquisition offers in areas where Fibe TV service is not available and lower wholesale net activations driven by the roll-out of IPTV services by other competing providers in Western Canada.

Planned Internet subscriber growth in 2017 is expected to be driven by IPTV product superiority and resulting Internet pull-through, increased FTTP coverage as we leverage the speed and reliability of our broadband Internet network and Internet product innovation. This is expected to have an associated positive impact on ARPU growth and customer churn.

In wireline business, the ongoing economy-related and competitive market challenges, together with continued customer migration to IP-based systems, will likely continue to negatively impact our overall business markets results in 2017. We intend on seeking to minimize the overall revenue decline from legacy services by leveraging our market position to develop unique services and value enhancements. We intend to use marketing initiatives seeking to slow NAS erosion, while investing in new solutions in key portfolios such as Internet and private networks, data centre and cloud services, unified communications, and security services. We will continue to deliver network-centric managed and professional services solutions to large and mid-sized businesses that increase the value of connectivity services. Moreover, our acquisition of Q9 in October 2016 strengthens our national leadership in data hosting, managed services and cloud computing solutions, allowing us to capture full financial benefits, while enhancing our ability to achieve a higher pull-through of connectivity revenues.

We also expect to experience sustained competitive intensity in our mass and mid-sized business markets as cable operators and other telecom competitors maintain their focus on these customer segments. We also intend to introduce service offerings that help drive innovative solutions and value for our mass and mid-sized customers by leveraging Bell’s network assets, broadband fibre expansion and service capabilities to expand our relationships with them. We will maintain a focus on overall profitability by seeking to increase revenue per customer and customer retention, as well as through improving our processes to achieve further operating efficiencies and productivity gains.

Operating cost reduction will continue to be a key focus for our Bell Wireline segment, helping to offset costs related to the growth and retention of IPTV, Internet, IP broadband and hosted IP voice subscribers, the ongoing erosion of high-margin wireline voice and other legacy revenues, competitive repricing pressures in our business and wholesale markets, as well as the negative financial impact of regulatory rulings from 2016. This, combined with further service-level improvements and operating synergies from the integration of MTS following the completion of the acquisition by BCE, is expected to support our objective of maintaining our consolidated adjusted EBITDA margin relatively stable year over year.

We also plan to maintain significant capital investment in broadband infrastructure, fibre expansion and upgrades to support our IPTV and residential Internet services, as well as new business solutions in key portfolios such as Internet and private networks, data centre and cloud services, unified communications and security services. We intend to pursue pricing methods that will assist us in covering the capital costs of upgrading our networks, providing new services and expanding capacity to meet growing data consumption.


  • Positive full-year adjusted EBITDA growth
  • Continued growth in residential IPTV and Internet subscribers
  • Increasing wireless and Internet-based technological substitution
  • Residential services household ARPU growth from increased penetration of multi-product households and price increases
  • Aggressive residential service bundle offers from cable TV competitors in our local wireline areas
  • Continued large business customer migration to IP-based systems
  • Ongoing competitive repricing pressures in our business and wholesale markets
  • Continued competitive intensity in our small and mid-sized business markets as cable operators and other telecom competitors continue to intensify their focus on business customers
  • Growing consumption of OTT TV services and on-demand streaming video, as well as the proliferation of devices, such as tablets, that consume vast quantities of bandwidth, will require considerable ongoing capital investment
  • TV unbundling will not materially accelerate the downsizing of TV packages by customers
  • Realization of cost savings related to management workforce attrition and retirements, lower contracted rates from our suppliers, reduction of traffic that is not on our network and operating synergies from the planned integration of MTS following the completion of the acquisition by BCE
  • Softer wholesale financial performance due to a CRTC decision in October 2016 that significantly lowered capacity-based billing rates for aggregated wholesale high-speed Internet access services
  • No other changes in regulations affecting our wireline business having material financial, operational or competitive consequences


Key growth drivers

  • Expanding FTTP footprint
  • Increasing IPTV penetration of households
  • Higher market share of industry TV and Internet subscribers
  • Greater penetration of multi-product households
  • Improved residential customer retention
  • Increased business customer spending on connectivity services and managed and professional services solutions, as well as greater new business formation as the economy strengthens and employment rates improve
  • Expansion of our business customer relationships to drive higher revenue per customer
  • Ongoing service innovation and product value enhancements


Principal business risks

This section discusses certain principal business risks which specifically affect the Bell Wireline segment. For a detailed description of the principal risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, refer to section 9, Business risks.


Principal business risks

This section discusses certain principal business risks specifically related to the Bell Wireline segment. For a detailed description of the principal risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, refer to section 9, Business risks.


  • The intensity of competitive activity from incumbent operators, cable companies, non-traditional players and wholesalers
  • Higher churn, increased acquisition and retention expenses and use of promotional competitive offers to acquire and keep customers, all of which would put pressure on Bell Wireline’s adjusted EBITDA


  • The CRTC mandates rates for the new disaggregated wholesale high-speed access service available on FTTP facilities that are materially different from the rates we proposed and that do not sufficiently account for the investment required in these facilities
  • The mandating of rates for the new disaggregated wholesale high-speed access service available on FTTP facilities that are materially different from the rates we proposed could improve the business position of our competitors and change our investment strategy, especially in relation to investment in next-generation wireline networks in smaller communities and rural areas


  • The traditional TV viewing model (i.e. the subscription for bundled channels) is challenged by an increasing number of viewing options available in the market offered by traditional, non-traditional and global players, as well as developing cord cutting and cord shaving trends
  • Changing customer habits further contribute to the erosion of NAS lines
  • Our market penetration and number of TV subscribers could decline as a result of BDUs’ offerings and an increasing number of domestic and global unregulated OTT providers. The proliferation of IP-based products, including OTT content offerings, may accelerate the disconnection of TV services or the reduction of TV spending
  • The ongoing loss of NAS lines from technological substitution to wireless and Internet-based services and large business customer conversions to IP-based data services challenge our traditional voice revenues and compel us to develop other service offerings
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